Malcolm Harrison to sell off George Taylor fleet

It's the end of an era as haulier George Taylor closes its doors.

Laurie Dealer will be of many potential buyers attending the sale of vehicle from Bristol haulier George Taylor, as it closes its doors after more than 100 years of trading.

Malcolm Harrison Auctions is handling the sale of 20 trucks, 43 trailers, plus sundry equipment on 9 October 2010.

Company director Roger Scarrett says: "We started to trade at a loss and we can't see it changing in the next two years. Looking at our investment cycle, it made sense to look at other opportunities."

There are ERF, Scania and Volvo trucks up for grabs plus Dennison, Fruehauf and M+G skellies, and a 1937 Bedford truck as well.



Government pledges to fight EC trailer plans

The Department for Transport (DfT) says it will fight the European Commission (EC) over any proposals for 4m-high trailers in the UK, following an outpouring of concern from operators and manufacturers.

Transport minister Mike Penning told CM this week that he would "negotiate strongly" with the EC on behalf of the road transport industry, following its proposal to standardise all new-build semi-trailer heights to 4m.

CM reported last week that a proposal had been sent to all trailer manufacturers in the UK by the DfT providing details that the EC was looking at restricting all semi-trailers built under Whole Vehicle Type Approval to 4m in height.

Manufacturers said that such a proposal, if it became law, would spell the end of high-roof and multi-deck trailers, while pallet networks and operators told sister title Motor Transport that the proposal would increase the volume of trucks on the road, carbon emissions and costs.

In response to both articles, Penning says he shares the industry's concerns over the proposal: "Any such proposal seems to go beyond the EC's remit to simplify existing legislation. We, and other [EU] member states, have made this point to the EC, which now has an opportunity to reconsider.

"Let me assure manufacturers and trailer operators that the government will negotiate strongly to achieve the best outcome for the UK," he stresses.

"In the meantime, we have asked UK industry for evidence on the potential impacts of the proposal to ensure that our interests are fully represented in negotiations."

The minister's comments have been welcomed by the trade associations. Andy Mair, head of engineering policy at the Freight Transport Association, says the DfT has given it a "sympathetic ear" in its submissions to the negotiations. "The DfT is looking for industry feedback before 18 October. It is looking for more evidence. We are working with some of our supermarket members, who are using double-deck trailers, as they would be significantly affected by this. We hope that the EC will take another look," he adds.

Nick Deal, manager of logistics development at the Road Haulage Association, says: "To double [parcel carrier network fleets] would add massive costs, time, carbon, traffic and staff. These vehicles, like the pallet networks, are generally fully utilised in terms of space with, perhaps, 1,000 small consignments onboard one trailer."